Formal negotiations on the renouncement of the Munich Agreement began at the end of January 1942. At a luncheon given by Anthony Eden on January the 21st.
“Your hour of liberation is drawing near. Hold fast to your faith, faith in your own leaders in this country, faith in the miners of this country, faith in the United Nations who will again restore to you the liberty which you have lost and peace to this tortured world.”
Not everyone was happy with efforts to rebuild Lidice. An article, anonymously penned by “The Calcutta Statesman” and published in the Evening Sentinel in October 1942, was keen to point out Britain’s lack of obligation towards the Czech people
The physical deconstruction and erasure of the old village of Lidice took over two years of solid graft, was financially costly, and was paid for by the victims’ bank accounts. It was not until September the 25th, 1944, that Karl Frank could finally announce with much satisfaction that the clearing work had definitively ended.
When the formation of the committee was formally announced on September the 21st, 1942 in Washington D.C., the Lidice Lives Committee declared its ambition to create
“a village named Lidice in each Allied country, reaching a number of 30 to 36 Lidices all over the world by the end of the war.”
George Jones, the Midlands Miners’ Secretary from the Warwickshire branch, put the Lidice Shall Live proposal forward as a suggestion on behalf of his members on the opening day of the Mineworkers’ Federation of Great Britain’s Annual Conference at the Winter Gardens, Blackpool, on the 20th of July 1942.
Lidice! Your streets are silent now;
You little town—whose crime was mercy-
Lie beneath the sun,
And only wisps of smoke arise to crown
The blackened desolation of the Hun.
A little over a month after the horror that befell the village, on July 20th, Hollywood actors appeared on the first episode of Victory Radio Theater. Wirelessly broadcast across all states, the bulk of the presentation was a stage adaptation of the hit 1940 movie “The Philadelphia Story”, but at the end of the show, the main cast of James Stewart, Cary Grant, and Katharine Hepburn made patriotic comments to promote the war effort.
President Beneš had acknowledged the likelihood of reprisals when discussing the pros and cons of Anthropoid with Colonel Moravec the previous autumn and must have expected some backlash following the death of Heydrich. Nevertheless, even he seemed genuinely shocked at the savagery of the Nazi response.
In Britain, the first seeds of a national public response to the tragedy that befell Lidice were sown a mere three days following the atrocity at an exhibition of artworks organised by the North Staffordshire Branch of the Czecho-Slovak – British Friendship Club at the old Hanley Museum, Pall Mall, Stoke-on-Trent (see below) on the afternoon of Saturday the 13th of June.